The Rock vs. John Cena has the potential to be the biggest match in WrestleMania history. Not only is this match "Icon vs. Icon," it is the return of The Rock to in-ring competition.
The Rock and John Cena have all the attributes needed in order to hype the match and deliver a memorable wrestling encounter.
But there is one way to make the match bigger, and that is by turning John Cena heel.
Yes, I know, I'm sorry. This is probably something like the 433rd article in the "turn John Cena heel" debate. But hear me out. My argument is based on reason and not some inane notion such as disliking Cena's jean shorts—it's merely coincidental that I think they are ridiculous.
Turning John Cena heel has the potential to make this match even bigger, and this is true for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, Cena's character has grown somewhat stale. Cena's archetypal good guy act is about as relevant and endearing to the 2011 core wrestling audience as an Aaron Carter album. When Cena smashed WWE's proverbial glass ceiling between 2002-2005 there was something edgy and fresh about him.
You wanted to watch him. Now it's almost as if he has grown complacent in his role as top dog (a position be has held longer than Stone Cold and The Rock combined). Everything Cena does is predictable. Giving his character a much needed overhaul would not only benefit Cena and WWE programming, it would make the road to WrestleMania much more compelling.
Another point that has to be considered is that as soon as Cena steps through the curtain at WrestleMania XXVIII he may as well be a heel. There is more chance of Snooki running for congress and getting elected than there is Cena receiving a favourable reaction in Miami.
With this in mind, it would make little sense for Cena to continue to portray the superhero in jorts up until WrestleMania. By acting as the perennial good guy only to be rejected by the audience time and time again undermines Cena's credibility. Cena needs as much credibility as possible going into a match with The Rock.
Turning John Cena heel for this match makes sense for many reasons, especially if it takes place a number of months before and he is able to establish himself as a monster on Raw. Having The Rock return to face John Cena, a man who had been the face of the company for six years only to turn his back on the fans, would not only make Rock's return more meaningful, it would add intensity to the feud. This match is already personal and “Icon vs. Icon”. By becoming good vs. evil in addition would take this match to the next level.
However, if Cena was to turn heel there are numerous things to consider. At the moment, Cena is the only bona-fide main event face on Raw. If he were to turn, WWE would have to find a replacement. Also, should Cena just turn heel for a number of months just for 'Mania or should WWE commit to Cena as a heel for years to come?
Whilst a long-term heel run may harm the progression of the young heels on Raw, it may allow for some new blood to carry the company as a face. Guys like CM Punk and The Miz have face potential and change is usually a good thing in an action soap opera—unless that change is referring to wrestling as an action soap opera.
But does John Cena need to turn heel by WrestleMania XXVIII? Probably. It would take the rivalry with The Rock to the next level, freshen up Cena’s character and the overall product and allow other Superstars to run with the ball as the top face.
But will John Cena actually turn heel? This remains to be seen. As WrestleMania approaches, this may become more apparent.
As we move towards WrestleMania in Miami next year numerous questions such as this will crop up. One of the more popular debates is whether the match should be for the WWE Championship. This, my friends, is a debate for another time.